Health IT (information technology) is the area of IT involving the design, development, creation, use and maintenance of information systems for the healthcare industry. Automated and interoperable healthcare information systems are expected to lower costs, improve efficiency and reduce error, while also providing better consumer care and service.

Information Blocking and EHRs

You never know who you might be sitting next to!

Fourteen usability principles for the design of electronic medical records

The research team at the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare, based upon an evidence review, proposed these 14 usability principles which may guide the design and implementation of EHRs:

1. Consistency—Design consistency and standards utilization
2. Visibility—System state visibility
3. Match—System and world match
4. Minimalism—Minimalist design
5. Memory—Memory load minimization
6. Feedback—Informative feedback
7. Flexibility—Flexible and customizable system
8. Message—Useful error messages
9. Error—Use error prevention
10. Closure—Clear closure
11. Reversibility—Reversible actions
12. Language—User language utilization
13. Control—User control
14. Documentation—Help and documentation

Adapted from ( Zhang J, Walji MF. TURF: toward a unified framework of EHR usability. J Biomed Inform 2011;44:1056–67)

Here is how to choose a more usable Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system

The usability of the system is probably the most important factor in making an informed choice of which EHR to use for your practice. Most every bit of software says that it is easy to use, but how can you choose an EHR that is actually usable?

Cigarette smoking and the ROI of Design Thinking

Analogies have been a major part of how we explain usability, user experience and/or design thinking to audiences and clients (and potential clients). Many of these analogies involve automotive technology ( see e.g. Crash-test dummies and the Usability of EHRs ).